What to Expect from Your Controller

Job Responsibilities of a Controller

Your Controller should not be doing data entry. The Controller’s main job responsibility is to manage the accounting department from a high-level. Compared to your Bookkeeper, Staff Accountant and/or Accounting Manager, the Controller is focused on ensuring the accuracy of the financial statements. Controllers are also responsible for taking the financial information, interpreting the results and communicating them to management and non-accountants in a way that they can understand. A Controller will also suggest improvements to achieve the goals for the business. Financial Controllers report to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Their day-to-day duties include the preparation of operating budgets, overseeing financial reporting, and performing essential functions related to payroll.

Telling the Story

The most important job of a Controller is to “tell the story” of what’s going on in the business. They communicate the story through graphs, charts and pictures to show where the business is and where is has the potential to go. In order to do this successfully, the Controller must have a thorough understanding of the goals for the business so they can determine the most important aspects of the financial package to highlight. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and ratio analysis, including gross profit metrics, are areas the Controller will focus their efforts.

Internal Controls and Reducing Risk

The Controller is also in charge of internal controls and takes responsibility for fraud prevention within a company. They create and prepare internal control procedures for their company for both the financial and accounting departments. Controllers are tasked with reducing risk in a business through compliance, regulatory reporting and safeguarding assets. The strategies that the Controller creates to minimize financial risk are based on the goals for the business.


In most, if not all accounting departments, the Controller will report to the CFO. They will also manage and support the Accounting Manager and hold them accountable for producing accurate and timely financial information. The data must be accurate in order for the Controller to analyze it and fulfill their job responsibilities. Once the Controller has signed off on the financial package, they send it to the CFO for them to present to management and key stakeholders in the business.


At TGG, we allocate a 4-person team to every client, consisting of a CFO, a Controller, an Accounting Manager, and a Staff Accountant to make sure the accounting is being done at the appropriate levels. Is your Controller doing data entry? If so, reach out to us today for a free 30-minute consultation so we can partner with your existing staff and get your accounting department on the right track!

This post was reviewed by our team of accounting and financial experts. TGG’s mission is to make business owners’ lives better through excellent financial management. We strive to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on accounting-related topics so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All posts undergo a review process with at least one member of our Leadership Team to ensure accuracy.

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